Industry experts are confident about employment and youth development in the Middle East and North Africa of 2015.

According to the MENA Labour Market Confidence Index to be officially released at the Human Resources (HR) Summit and Expo 2014, that took place on 20 through 22 October, a majority of regional business leaders are optimistic about the future.

“We hope that the MENA Labour Market Confidence Index helps inform and shape the overall policy and HR direction in our nations and organisations.  The region currently faces some extraordinary opportunities and challenges with regards to its workforce,” said Ramy Bayyour, show-director of the HR Summit and Expo, in a statement.

46% of respondents were convinced that the overall economic outlook in their respective countries has improved for the better, while 45% state it has remained the same.

The role of the HR department across all industries, becoming noticeably more and more important make their opinion relevant in any forecast of the future hence 51% of leaders believe that 2015 will be the same as this year whilst 42% feel it will reap more rewards.  Only 7% are cautious for the year ahead.

“The research clearly highlights the role that professionals in HR need to play so as to contribute in the shaping of the region in terms of human capital development, especially in the UAE with the preparation for Expo 2020 in mind.  We need to build a resilient, skilled and diversified workforce contributing to all sectors of the economy,” says a managing director of a talent hunter, commenting on the results.

Developing the younger generations, and focusing on national talent acquisition for all regional leaders emerged as human capital priorities in the report.

“With its projected levels of economic growth, an unprecedented increase in youth population, increase in female participation in the workplace and changing patterns of immigration, we are witnessing a laboratory for labour market reform,” adds Bayyour.

This was the situation in 2014 and with the UAE preparing for its ‘Expo 2020’ and the rest of the MENA region seemingly in full expansion, the HR Summit and Expo 2015 will surely reveal more interesting trends.

Trade Arabia produced this article back on 4 October 2015

In the current conjecture, a follow on summit was arranged last month  in Dubai.  World-class theoritians and experts  were invited to confer with more than 3,000 Middle East Human Resources professionals at the HR Summit & Expo 2015.

This 12th edition of the summit was themed “Business Unusual: Disrupting HR and Leading Innovation”, and was led by three inspirational speakers: Ram Charan, co-author of best-selling book, The Talent Masters; Fons Trompenaars, globally renowned consultant and organisational theorist; and best-selling author Jim Kouzes.

Running from November 16-18, the well-known speakers were joined by some eminent authors, thinkers from some of the most well-known international organisations based in the region.

Dr Ram Charan was notably reported to have said at the opening of the HR SUMMIT AND EXPO 2015 

“Talent is no longer an HR issue. It is now at the epicentre of business focus.  CEOs and business leaders now realise that in a global and increasingly competitive market, top talent is the leading indicator of whether a business is going up and down. Smart leaders put people before numbers and prioritise nurturing talent as a business imperative. it is time for HR to see talent from a different perspective; one that involves the business”.